Perhaps the devs will read this and make us a new "sticky thread", as we had it in the old forum,
called "Reports from the Front". And even if not - feel free to post your adventures in here too,
then it will always get bumped up onto page 1.

*** *** *** *** *** *** ***

2nd Lieutenant Haynes had a rather unpleasant 'adventure' with No. 46 today, and it will keep him
off the duty board for at least a week. But let's see his latest entry from his diary.

"We were flying south along the road to Lens, when I sighted a single German scout - one of those
new Albatros V-strutters - crossing our course ca. 3000 feet ahead and lower, from right to left.
They do not cross the lines very often, and this flyer was even all on his own - what a chance!
First I was only just amazed about the look of the aircraft; it had an appearance like a peregrine
falcon, a beautiful shape of both, wings and fuselage. The body was of bright plywood; the tailplane
was painted white, with a big Iron Cross on the fin and rudder.
Then I waved towards Kay and Dimmock to assign the enemy - when they swung round left already.
Great, I thought and pushed the stick, to get at the enemy plane.
I had no idea, that Kay had spotted a flight of DFW C.V further away, and led the flight there.

I tried in vain to catch up with "my German" - the distance between us wouldn't shrink.
Then I saw the 5 DFW coming towards me, only 300 feet higher than me. I climbed towards them.
I saw our flight to my left and much higher up - they would surely engage too.
So I took the left two-seater under fire. As they began passing me, I went into a steep right turn,
firing again and again, until I got behind the big craft. But I was too close!
Without any irritation they flew on straight, and now their observers opened their fire on me!
I heard and felt several impacts on wood and in canvas - Zzipp! Zapp! Shrak!! Tock-tock!!!

And then I got hit. The bullet entered my right leg short above the knee and got stuck somewhere in
the middle of my tigh. The stinging pain was very strange, like electric or like a poised bee sting,
only much bigger. I felt awfully sick.
Immediately I broke off and turned away from the Huns. Within seconds, my whole body felt very cold,
except for my leg. Warm blood was running along the tigh and soaked my trousers which I was wearing
under the thick flying suit. I could not check the wound, but I was sure it was quite heavy - I felt
the blood running out, soaking my pants more and more, and panik came up.
What if the loss of blood would make me faint?
I couldn't help it - I pulled down my scarf and had to vomit overboard.

I pushed the stick forwards; I had to get down to the ground as quick as possible!
I saw a bigger town south of me and I realised I was already as far as Arras. I checked my map.
Mont Saint-Eloi was the closest field for me, and I reached it. Meanwhile, I was sure I had
lost more than five pints of blood! When does a man faint from blood loss?

Somehow I managed to fly over the hangars and put the kite down in the middle of the field.
Then I must have fainted for a bit, cause the next I saw was me on a surgical table, with three medics
and several curious pilots around me.
"Ah, there you are, old chap! Stay with us! You had a little shock! What's your name?"
I told it. "Unit? Age?" I got anxiously and got angry.
"Wanna know my granny's girl name?! Can you save my leg?" I bellowed from a sore dry throat.
"Your leg? No, we had to take it off!" said the doctor.
I almost fainted again, but he saw my dispair and clapped my cheek.
"Hey, hey, there, there! It is nothing! Just a grazing shot, all along your tigh.
Be happy - a little more centered, it could have hit more valuable parts!"
The pilots around me all laughed, which I found utterly misguided! But then one feller came with a big
glass of brandy, which I drank - with the doctor's order - at one big gulp.
It helped drowning some of the embarrassment which I felt now - the others must have thought I was a Sissy.
But it really DID feel like a large amount of blood lost.

Oh, well, these fellers will soon be left behind - in ten days I may be fit for flying again.
And I swear to myself: I will have much more respect from two-seater formations from now on.

Kay didn't give me any brushing down. He only said in a very calm, warm and friendly way:
"Boy, you could have been dead. Never leave the formation again, okay?"
It worked much more on me than any harsh words, and I will try never to let my leader down again."

Vice-President of the BOC (Barmy OFFers Club)
Member of the 'Albatros Aviators Club' - "We know how to die with Style!"